You are on page 1of 74

September 4, 2007

Lawrence Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Commission


P.O. Box 708
Lawrence, KS 66044

Re: Pine Family Farms Development Project

Commissioners,

The Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods (LAN) wants to express its concern over the lack of
information and failure to involve the public about the proposed 140-acre Lawrence Airport Business
Park.

LAN supports the North Lawrence Improvement Association (NLIA) and the residents of North
Lawrence in their concerns over the storm water runoff problems that will be generated by this
development. North Lawrence currently suffers from inadequate infrastructure to handle normal storm
water runoff. The proposed development will significantly worsen the existing problem. In the August 31,
2007, letter from the developer, the taxpayers are asked to provide the infrastructure to manage this
runoff. LAN believes that the costs and engineering issues related the development of this infrastructure
require extensive additional study before the Planning Commission is able to make an informed decision
regarding this proposal.

LAN also supports the Citizens for Responsible Planning (CRP) representing Grant Township, residents
of North Lawrence and of Lawrence, in its opposition to the Lawrence Airport Business Park. The need
for additional retail development is questionable given the large surplus of vacant retail space that
currently exists in the district. The projected employment figures are unsubstantiated and demand
further study prior to any action by the Planning Commission. It is unclear why the City would want to
participate in the development of new industrial and business parks, in and around a flood plain, when
ample industrial space already exists elsewhere in the community outside of the flood plain.

LAN is concerned that the public has not been given sufficient time or information on the proposed
Lawrence Airport Business Park to provide meaningful input on the project. LAN believes that this
development proposal should be tabled until more studies can be completed.

Sincerely,

Gwen Klingenberg
Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods - President
Dear Planning Commissioners,

I understand that you will soon be making recommendations on the annexation

the Pine farmland property into the City of Lawrence for the purpose of development. I

have attended several meetings to try to learn about the issues and what is at stake here.

At the 9/17 meeting with Jes Santaularia and Roger Pine, it struck me that both men

stated that “others” had slated this prime farmland for development and that they were

just going along with with plans that had been set in motion 15-20 years ago by

“politicians”, as Mr. Santularia called them. Fifteen to twenty years ago, someone

thought the Tanger mall was a viable idea. Today more recently built retail and office

space along North Second Street remains empty.

I do not think that it is too late to revisit plans for industrialization of this area.

We have other options that we did not have several years ago, notably the Farmland

Industries site, which already has significant infrastructure in place. The Pine site would

also likely be in competition with Gardner Intermodal, as even the developer admits. I

believe it would be a shame to sacrifice some of the most productive soil in our area for

this ill-advised project. Costs to the City of Lawrence have not yet been finalized, but

drainage issues alone are projected to be in the millions of dollars, and as we know, there

are multiple other drainage projects already in the city awaiting funding.

Surely, plans discussed 15-20 years ago can and should be reevaluated. I am

hoping that the present planning commission is able to look at this with fresh eyes, and

give some consideration to the value of preserving excellent farmland and greenspace.

Sincerely, Sally McGee 9/24/2007


From: Burgess, Anne L [mailto:aburgess@ku.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2007 2:32 PM
To: Denny Brown
Subject: proposed north lawrence development

Dear commissioner,

I would like to add my opinion on the proposed development by Mr. Santalauria in North
Lawrence near the airport.

As a resident who lives several miles north of Lawrence, I am saddened every day when I drive
past the two developments on North Second Street which now lie virtually empty.

One of those developments took away a beautiful green view of the levy (north of Lyon). The
other took away a huge space by the turnpike. Both of them are reminders that development,
especially commercial development, needs to be scrutinized very carefully before proceeding.

In my mind, there’s no need for more commercial development in North Lawrence until the two
mentioned above are full and thriving.

Sincerely,
Anne Burgess
18641 Stairstep Road
Lawrence, Ks.
From: grant eichhorn [mailto:grant@eichus.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007 5:45 PM
To: 'Anthony Santaularia - Diversified Concepts, LLC'; nthellman@hughes.net
Cc: ChetandDeanna@aol.com; Lisa Pool; jes@dconcepts.biz; Brad Finkeldei; Chuck Blaser; Lawson, Dennis; Greg
Moore; Jeff Chaney; Joe Harkins; Lisa Harris; Rick Hird; Sadie Robb; Tom Jennings
Subject: RE: Lawrence Airport Business Park

Dear all- While I appreciate the sentiment and being copied in correspondence- I have to forward this on to other
planning commissioners as well. I do not believe this will cause any great ripples in the ocean. To be clear, I have
not received any other correspondence concerning this matter from any of the above copied individuals. If I was to
receive something please send a copy to staff as well as all of our commission. I see a reference to a meeting on
the 17th- If you are wishing discussion I believe our rules prohibit such I also do not have a time or addresses to be
invited to. I am sincerely glad that the inference to the planning process has been beneficial. (At least I read it that
way.) Thank you and we look forward to a great discussion- on all points.

J. Grant Eichhorn

PS- Lisa, please include this in our correspondence but given the amount of time available you do not have to print
it for each commissioner. Thanks

Rueschhoff Security / Eichus Building Services


3727 W. 6th Street
Lawrence, KS 66049

From: Anthony Santaularia - Diversified Concepts, LLC [mailto:anthony@dconcepts.biz]


Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007 2:54 PM
To: nthellman@hughes.net
Cc: ChetandDeanna@aol.com; 'Lisa Pool'; jes@dconcepts.biz
Subject: Lawrence Airport Business Park

September 5, 2007

TO: Grant Eichhorn, Chair Metropolitan Planning Commission,


Nancy Thellman, Chair Citizens for Responsible Planning

CC: Chet Fitch, Lisa Pool

Thank you for copying me on your note to Mr. Eichorn. I would like to take this opportunity to address some of your
statements and hopefully clarify some misconceptions.

The process for any zoning and annexation request in the city of Lawrence starts with an applicant submitting a request
to the planning department. The various departments of the city review and respond to the application, and the applicant
typically meets with staff after receipt of those comments. An application is often revised following that meeting, and
once the application is considered “final,” a public hearing is scheduled before the Lawrence Douglas County
Metropolitan Planning Commission. We did make our original submittal in June, but have only recently completed the
revisions that were requested by staff. As a result, our application is scheduled to be on the planning commission agenda
later this month.

As we have been revising and improving our application over the course of the last few months, we have tried to
schedule meetings with various groups and individuals regarding our plans for the Lawrence Airport Business Park.
Though we have been able to meet with many of the neighboring farm families, representatives of the North Lawrence
Improvement Association, the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, and others, we realize we have not been able to visit
with everyone who has an interest in this project. None of these meetings have been a “formal” presentation, but rather a
sharing of our overall concept, listening to any voiced concerns, and an exchange of ideas.

We have been looking forward to scheduling the neighborhood meeting, but did not want to commit to a date until we
knew that the plan we had submitted would be the one actually considered by the planning commission. I hope that you
would agree that having as much specificity as we can provide will allow us to have a more productive dialogue. We
plan to share our plan with you and your neighbors and give you an opportunity to address questions to us, our technical
team, and members of the city staff that will be present.

We remain hopeful that the Lawrence Airport Business Park will provide an opportunity for the community to come
together to support what we believe will be an outstanding project. We look forward to seeing you on the 17th and if you
have any direct concerns or questions in advance of the meeting that you know you would like answered please feel free
to email, mail or call at anytime.

Respectfully yours.

Jes Santaularia

Enclosures: Printable Copy


 
September 5, 2007 
 
TO: Grant Eichhorn, Chair Metropolitan Planning Commission,  
       Nancy Thellman, Chair Citizens for Responsible Planning 
 
CC: Chet Fitch, Lisa Pool 
 
Thank you for copying me on your note to Mr. Eichorn.  I would like to take this opportunity to 
address some of your statements and hopefully clarify some misconceptions. 
 
The process for any zoning and annexation request in the city of Lawrence starts with an applicant 
submitting a request to the planning department.  The various departments of the city review and 
respond to the application, and the applicant typically meets with staff after receipt of those 
comments.  An application is often revised following that meeting, and once the application is 
considered “final,” a public hearing is scheduled before the Lawrence Douglas County Metropolitan 
Planning Commission.  We did make our original submittal in June, but have only recently completed 
the revisions that were requested by staff.   As a result, our application is scheduled to be on the 
planning commission agenda later this month.   
 
As we have been revising and improving our application over the course of the last few months, we 
have tried to schedule meetings with various groups and individuals regarding our plans for the 
Lawrence Airport Business Park.  Though we have been able to meet with many of the neighboring 
farm families, representatives of the North Lawrence Improvement Association, the Lawrence 
Chamber of Commerce, and others, we realize we have not been able to visit with everyone who has 
an interest in this project.  None of these meetings have been a “formal” presentation, but rather a 
sharing of our overall concept, listening to any voiced concerns, and an exchange of ideas.  
 
We have been looking forward to scheduling the neighborhood meeting, but did not want to commit 
to a date until we knew that the plan we had submitted would be the one actually considered by the 
planning commission.  I hope that you would agree that having as much specificity as we can provide 
will allow us to have a more productive dialogue.   We plan to share our plan with you and your 
neighbors and give you an opportunity to address questions to us, our technical team, and members 
of the city staff that will be present. 
 
We remain hopeful that the Lawrence Airport Business Park  will provide an opportunity for the 
community to come together to support what we believe will be an outstanding project.  We look 
forward to seeing you on the 17th and if you have any direct concerns or questions in advance of the 
meeting that you know you would like answered please feel free to email, mail or call at anytime. 
 
Respectfully yours. 
 
 
 
Jes Santaularia 

REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT * DEVELOPMENT SERVICES * BUSINESS MANAGEMENT * CONSULTING

P.O. BOX 1753 * LAWRENCE, KS 66044 * PHONE: 785.749.0000 * FAX: 785.749.7222 * WWW.DCONCEPTS.BIZ
From: Nancy Thellman [mailto:nthellman@hughes.net]
Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 8:28 AM
To: Anthony Santaularia - Diversified Concepts, LLC
Cc: ChetandDeanna@aol.com; Lisa Pool
Subject: Re: Lawrence Airport Business Park

Jes and Anthony,


I appreciate your rapid response to my letter but I find your explanation disingenuous. That you would
find time to speak to so many groups ("neighboring farm families, representatives of the North Lawrence
Improvement Association, the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, and others") yet not find time to meet
with Grant Township is problematic--especially when the Planning Department's own notes suggest
strongly that you do. We would have gladly participated in hearing your "overall concept," sharing
"voiced concerns," and having an "exchange of ideas" and, in fact, scheduled two such opportunities with
you, both of which were cancelled by you.

The truth is, whether your plans were final or not, you saw fit to share them in their imperfect state many
times over--privately and publicly--for many months, but never with our neighborhood which is impacted
by your proposal in many ways. You offered to talk privately with our Grant Township Trustee, Chet
Fitch, but that is not an appropriate venue. Holding a private meeting with an elected neighborhood leader
does not constitute a neighborhood meeting--at least not in Grant Township. You must know that kind of
exclusionary approach to information sharing only sets up distrust. The very best thing you and the Pine
family could have done from the beginning would have been to be forthcoming with both North Lawrence
and Grant Township. Maybe you could have garnered our excitement, trust, and support which you now
want. As it is, you have little support and a lot of distrust.

Now my greatest concern in all this is for your partners, the Pine family. Roger and Sue are now in a
situation (maybe of their own choosing) where their actions are in complete contradiction to who they are-
-one an elected public official who should respect transparent public process, and the other, a former
planning commissioner who should know what proper public process looks like. Though they do not live
in the area any more, they must know their former neighbors and constituents expect better. Simply put,
their reputations are in the balance now.

I plan to attend the September 17 meeting and will be very interested to hear your presentation in its final
form, apparently. I look forward to meeting you then.

Nancy Thellman
_________________________________________________________________________________

On Sep 5, 2007, at 2:54 PM, Anthony Santaularia - Diversified Concepts, LLC wrote:

September 5, 2007

TO: Grant Eichhorn, Chair Metropolitan Planning Commission,

Nancy Thellman, Chair Citizens for Responsible Planning

CC: Chet Fitch, Lisa Pool

Thank you for copying me on your note to Mr. Eichorn. I would like to take this opportunity to address some of your
statements and hopefully clarify some misconceptions.

The process for any zoning and annexation request in the city of Lawrence starts with an applicant submitting a request
to the planning department. The various departments of the city review and respond to the application, and the applicant
typically meets with staff after receipt of those comments. An application is often revised following that meeting, and
once the application is considered “final,” a public hearing is scheduled before the Lawrence Douglas County
Metropolitan Planning Commission. We did make our original submittal in June, but have only recently completed the
revisions that were requested by staff. As a result, our application is scheduled to be on the planning commission agenda
later this month.

As we have been revising and improving our application over the course of the last few months, we have tried to
schedule meetings with various groups and individuals regarding our plans for the Lawrence Airport Business Park.
Though we have been able to meet with many of the neighboring farm families, representatives of the North Lawrence
Improvement Association, the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, and others, we realize we have not been able to visit
with everyone who has an interest in this project. None of these meetings have been a “formal” presentation, but rather a
sharing of our overall concept, listening to any voiced concerns, and an exchange of ideas.

We have been looking forward to scheduling the neighborhood meeting, but did not want to commit to a date until we
knew that the plan we had submitted would be the one actually considered by the planning commission. I hope that you
would agree that having as much specificity as we can provide will allow us to have a more productive dialogue. We
plan to share our plan with you and your neighbors and give you an opportunity to address questions to us, our technical
team, and members of the city staff that will be present.

We remain hopeful that the Lawrence Airport Business Park will provide an opportunity for the community to come
together to support what we believe will be an outstanding project. We look forward to seeing you on the 17th and if you
have any direct concerns or questions in advance of the meeting that you know you would like answered please feel free
to email, mail or call at anytime.

Respectfully yours.

Jes Santaularia

Enclosures: Printable Copy


September 9, 2007

Planning Office
Chairman of the Planning Commission
Grant Eichhorn

Mr. Eichorn,

I am a citizen living in northeast Douglas County. I have followed the evolving details of
the Airport Business Park Proposal. I have the following objections to this proposal.

⇒ Diversified Concepts repeatedly resisted meeting with citizens of Douglas County.


Finally, upon the requirement of the City of Lawrence, Diversified Concepts set a
date for a public meeting for Monday, September 17. This date is too late for citizens
to incorporate whatever information they gather from this September 17 meeting into
their formal written comments to the Planning Commission. This in effect means
public comments drawn from this meeting can not be included in the considerations
of city staff as they make their written report to the Planning Commission. Diversified
Concepts refused any change in date to accommodate the interests of neighboring
citizens. This lack of transparency by Diversified Concepts is unacceptable. I believe
this is a public due process issue.
⇒ Placing this business park on and around the flood plains of North Lawrence will
result in significant flooding and drainage costs to the City of Lawrence.
⇒ This business park is a mixture of retail, commercial and industrial businesses. With
a vacancy rate around 40% for retail and commercial businesses in North Lawrence,
this business proposal will only add to vacancies in the area.
⇒ Across the nation, two airports closed down each month due to encroaching
development. This proposed development threatens the survivability of our airport.
⇒ The City of Lawrence costs for sewer, water, storm water drainage and road
improvements are unknown as of this date.

I ask the Planning Commission to delay any discussion and decision about the Airport
Business Park proposal until the citizens of Douglas County have a reasonable period
of time to hear from Diversified Concepts and understand the costs to the City of
Lawrence so they can register their comments in a fair and reasonable manner to the
Planning Commission.

I request my letter be placed in the public comment file. Thank you for your
consideration of these comments.

Sincerely,

Jerry Jost
2002 East 1600 Road
Lawrence, Kansas 66044
(785) 865-2555
jjost@myvine.com
October 15, 2007

Planning Commission
City Commission
County Commission
c/o City Hall
6 East 6th
Lawrence, KS 66044

Dear Commissioners,

I am President of Pines International and the Wilderness Community Education


Foundation. These two organizations own about 1,600 acres north and northwest of the
proposed business park. We share common goals with the University of Kansas Field
Station and Ecological Reserves, which represents an additional 1,800 acres.

I should mention that Pines International has absolutely no connection with the Pine
Family Farms or their related development activities. Pines International is committed to
improving the soil and to a kind of sustainable agriculture that was once commonly
practiced by responsible farmers in our valley.

My comments below represent my own thoughts and feelings; however, I suspect than
many of our 25 employees and many of our one hundred local stockholders would agree
with me. I am opposed to this development for at least nine reasons:

1. This proposal would break a long-standing covenant

Besides Pines International, the WCEF and the Ecological Reserves, many individuals
and families also own property near the proposed business park. Most these properties
overlook the prime farmland that is the proposed location for this development.

Because this land is so productive and important for food production and because it is
prone to flooding, previous long-range planning documents have said this land should
“never to be developed.” All of us purchased our properties based on the belief that future
Planning Commissions, City Commissions and County Commissions would be honorable
people and not violate the promises made by previous elected and appointed officials.
We could never imagine that future officials would consider developing the extremely
fertile farmland in the valley below our properties. It was that scenic vista that caused
many of us to pay premium prices for our land. Now several hundred people are
concerned that our properties will lose value and that we will lose our magnificent views.
It seems totally un-American that hundreds of people will lose their quality of life just so
a select few can benefit financially, especially when there are so many other more
suitable locations for this kind of development.

2. This proposal represents fiscal irresponsibility

Much has already been said about the fiscal irresponsibility of development in the
bottoms, especially near a major creek that is prone to flood. Even given the optimistic
projections currently being made by the developers, we know that the costs of draining
storm water runoff from all those roofs, roads and parking lots will be significantly
greater than building on higher ground.

The taxpayers will be paying for flood control measures that we would not have to pay
for on a more appropriate site. Further, as I will discuss later in this letter, no one is
taking into account the massive rains from “super storms” that are predicted by nearly
every climatologist. There are no preparations being made for these storms. There are
no cost projections for what the taxpayers may have to ultimately pay to protect against
these almost certain possibilities.

But my concerns go beyond the increased taxes to subsidize additional flood control
measures at this location. My concerns also go beyond the obvious loss of our scenic
views and property values.

3. This proposal demonstrates ignorance and a lack of foresight.


.
For those who do not know our area or the people involved, it must appear absurd that
our community would consider building on bottomland along a frequently-flooding
creek. They would find it even more absurd that we are considering building on our most
productive farmland. The most uneducated farmer from the most isolated place on Earth
would never be so foolish to build on his best soil.

4. This proposal is based on cheap fuel, and cheap fuel is rapidly coming to an end.

Increased fuel prices will dramatically change the economic landscape. Rapid increases
in fuel costs are already making many locally-produced products less expensive. Those
of you who shop at the Farmer’s Market know that locally-grown food costs much less
than food imported from California and Mexico. We are already seeing an explosion of
commercial gardens and orchards, and this trend will continue as the cost of shipped-in
food increases. We will soon see locally-owned processing plants that will preserve
summer produce to supply our community with food during the winter months at a
fraction of the cost of shipped in food.
The days of air-lifting produce from Chili and California and importing cheap goods
from China and Mexico and selling them at a competitive price are rapidly coming to an
end. Up until recently, these imports have cost less because of cheap labor; however,
lower labor cost will soon be offset by increased costs of shipping. It won’t take too
many more oil price increases before the costs of almost all imports will be more than
locally produced foods and materials.

Our leaders need to wake up to these new economic realities. We need to look forward
and not base present decisions on past realities. For example, efforts by local officials
and developers to attract more commuters to our community and to build additional
highways for them will become increasingly irrelevant due to the new reality of increased
fuel costs.

Further, efforts to attract distribution warehouses for NAFTA will be as short lived as the
factory outlet shopping centers that were all the rage by the City and County officials
only a few years ago. In the years ahead, the desired increase in our community’s
employment base will not come from big box warehouses that sort goods coming down
the pike on NAFTA highways. It will not come from industries that ship materials out of
Lawrence. New jobs will be created by an increase in local enterprise, which will
produce our own food, fuel and goods at a fraction the cost of shipped in materials.

5. This proposal threatens the safety and economic future of our community.

If you do not believe that fuel prices are going to continue to rise rapidly and if you do
not believe that rapidly increasing fuel prices are going to dramatically change the
economic landscape, you may want to look again at the economic forecasts. You owe it
to the future of this community to look very carefully at these trends. Your wise decision
to deny this business park and to keep the door closed to development of the bottoms is
critical to the positive economic future of our community.

Given the effects of rapidly increasing fuel prices, we must recognize that a major
component for the future success of our community will be our food-producing
resources. Our best soils are the world-renowned soils north of the City in the Kaw
bottoms. Protecting such soils is as important to homeland security as any other
preparation. In terms of both quantity and quality, there are no soils anywhere in our
region that can match the soils of the Kaw bottoms.

If you open the door to development of the bottoms, the bottoms will soon be filled with
Tanger Malls, failed business parks and other boondoggles that were based on the belief
that cheap fuel would last forever. As the cost of shipping goods and materials increases
from the inevitable and dramatic increases in the price of oil, it would be a tragedy if the
Kaw bottoms were filled with mostly-vacant warehouses, unused roads and nearly empty
parking lots and were not available for essential food production.
When the price of fuel becomes so high that only homegrown food is affordable, it would
be a tragedy if all we had left for food production were poor soils on high ground, which
should have been the location for this business park in the first place.

6. This proposal fails to address the predicted floods brought on by global warming.

It is bad enough that costs of flood control had to be added to this project when there are
so many places to build that would not require these costs. What is worse is the planners
are basing their flood control costs on historical models, which are no longer relevant.
Their plans fail to address the changes in our weather that are predicted by nearly every
climate scientist. Other communities across the United States are taking steps to address
these very real issues. Why should we in Lawrence/Douglas County do any less?

Future “super storms” are now an accepted reality. These hurricanes will be larger than
anything in recorded history. Right now Category 5 are the strongest storms. Up until
recently, very few storms have been that big. Meteorologists are now talking about
Category 6 “super storms,” whose remnants will reach Lawrence and dump several feet
of rain on our community in only a few hours.

After the first flood of this kind, the taxpayers will be forced to decide whether to
abandon the buildings in the flood plain or raise taxes and spend vast sums on higher
levees and larger pumping stations.

7. This proposal fails to address the predicted extreme droughts brought on by


global warming.

Once the door is opened to development, the entire Kaw bottoms near Lawrence will
eventually be lost. During years of extreme drought, the only land with a viable water
table for irrigation will be the Kaw bottoms, but if the doors are opened to development,
the bottoms may be covered with parking lots, roads and buildings at a time when we
really need quality farmland that can be irrigated. Those who try to grow crops to
provide reasonably priced food for our community will lament that water is too distant
and fuel costs too high to pump water from the bottoms upslope for irrigation. Further
these upland soils will produce a fraction of the yield that used to come from the bottoms,
and the foods will have a lower nutritional content.

8. This proposal fails to answer the question of why other sites are not being
explored.

Except as a way for the few to benefit at the expense of the many, and as a way to
increase taxes to pay for elaborate pumping stations, higher levees and other storm water
infrastructure, this proposed business park is a very bad idea. There is plenty of land that
is too poor for cultivation on higher ground. There are plenty of places to build a
business park without destroying some of the world’s best farmland. Building on high
ground costs less and protects our most valuable soils for the future needs of our
community.

9. Those supporting this proposal will be leaving a terrible legacy for themselves.

Are quick profits for the few really worth causing all the rest of us to have to pay higher
taxes to cover the costs of dealing with both anticipated and unanticipated runoff from
roofs, roads and parking lots?

Are quick profits for the few really worth forcing future commissioners to discuss the
foolishness of your decision when they have to address upgrading pumping stations and
levees to deal with super storms?

Are quick profits for the few really worth the legacy of being known as one of those who
started the process of destroying the most productive soil in the region?

Are quick profits for the few really worth your violating the covenants made by previous
officials for more than 100 years?

Are quick profits for the few at the expense of present and future citizens really worth
your support of this project?

Do you really want historians to associate your name with this very bad idea?

I hope you will make a responsible decision and deny this request.

Sincerely,

Ron Seibold
President
From: Laurie Ward [mailto:ltward@sunflower.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2007 10:25 PM
To: Denny Brown
Subject: October 24, 2007 L-DCMPC Meeting

38 Winona Ave.
Lawrence, KS 66046

October 18, 2007

Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Commission


City Hall
6 E 6th St.
Lawrence, KS 66044

Dear Planning Commissioners:

I write to request that you deny the rezoning requests for land at E 1500 Road and US Highway 24/40--Items
16B, 16C, 16D for your October 24, 2007, meeting.

Among the reasons for my request are:

* We live in a rapidly changing world, yet rely on past regulations to determine future living patterns. In the
next few decades, with rising energy prices and effects of climate change, Douglas Countians (and people
everywhere) will almost certainly need to grow and produce more food locally.

Planning documents could benefit from amendments to regard land as three-dimensional, not just two-
dimensional: Soil should be taken into consideration as well as surface trends. The soil of the proposed
Santaularia/Pine Family/Landplan industrial development is rated among the best agricultural land in the country.

The introduction to Chapter Seven of Horizon 2020 states, "Of particular interest to the community is the
attraction of industries and employment-related uses that are based in biosciences, agricultural and natural
resources, technology, and communications." Planning for farming and food production jobs to feed the people
of Lawrence and Douglas County makes sense.

* As a society, transportation patterns are certain to be altered not only by higher prices but depleted resources,
which in turn will affect the prices of trucked goods. This likely will lead to less consumption and more local
manufacturing. For the first time in recent history, living habits will not resemble those of the present, rendering
certain current industrial park activities irrelevant.

In the requests to you, the applicant made the statement that "No detrimental effect will occur with the approval
of this rezoning," but staff noted, "Denial would maintain high quality agricultural land and open space"--the
most basic and lasting gift we can leave for future generations.

Sincerely yours,

Laurie Ward
Douglas County Planning Commission

Re: Airport Industrial Park


Comments for the October 24, 2007 meeting

Dear Sirs:

Lawrence and Douglas County are not alone in grappling with sprawl and agricultural land use. Many
communities and States are recognizing that prime agricultural land is a resource to save, not pave.

In response, they have developed a variety of methods to use to preserve farmland. A quick internet search for
“preserving agricultural land” will provide you with plenty of information on how Portland, Chicago, Louisville,
other cities and many states address the issue. Zoning is a primary tool, which is already in effect in the proposed
area. Other tools include farmland protection ordinances, purchase of development rights, transfer of development
rights, and agricultural trusts. See for example:
http://cepm.louisville.edu/Pubs_WPapers/practiceguides/PG16.pdf

The planning documents that Douglas County has developed do not distinguish between open space, green space,
and prime ag land. The fact is, not every open and green space is good for agriculture. And not all agricultural
land is equal. I am suggesting that the planning commission take a more sophisticated, nuanced approach when
they are looking for a good space for an industrial park and show vision for the future of food.

The sad irony is that we are just breaking into a new era of agricultural possibilities which Lawrence is well suited
to exploit. The increasing market-share for organic foods, the renewed enthusiasm for “local” produce and
farmers markets across the nation, the increasing costs of fuel, trucking, and anhydrous ammonia fertilizer (tied to
increasing oil and natural gas), the reduced supplies of water in the west, and a host of other factors including
poisoning scares with imported foods and the likelihood of a federal guest worker program, all tend to make
market gardening locally more competitive. At the same time, biofuel, which is driving corn to record high prices,
has made good farmland more in demand, and there is more to come. Consider also carbon sequestration credits
for no-till farming or permaculture. Where all these competing trends point is to more and more money in Kansas
agriculture. That means good farm land is a thing not to be wasted.

The funds that the city and county will have to use on extra flood control and roads in the proposed development
area can be focused on cleaning up our “brown” fields or developing a north-south corridor road east of Lawrence.
Let us focus our limited resources on doing one thing right instead of spreading out and doing nothing well.

Rumor is that this development is already a “done deal” with our newly elected city commissioners and that the
planning commission has no objections. Perhaps, but I choose to hope that there is still time to think about the
options before putting in asphalt, the final crop.

Deborah Milks
945 Ohio, Lawrence, KS 66044
League of Women Voters of Lawrence-Douglas County
P.O. Box 1072, Lawrence, Kansas 66044

October 21, 2007

Grant Eichhorn, Chairman


Members
Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission
City Hall
Lawrence, Kansas 66044

RE: 16A,B,C,D, & E: ANNEXATION, REZONING, AND PRELIMINARY PLAT FOR


AIRPORT BUSINESS PARK NO.1, E 1500 ROAD AND US HIGHWAY 24/40

Dear Chairman Eichhorn and Planning Commissioners:

Our position on land use of the LWV L-DC that we have had since 1973 clearly supports the
avoidance of building on hazardous sites such as floodplains and especially supports the
preservation of prime agricultural land. For these reasons and others listed below we ask that
you deny the annexation, rezoning and preliminary plat for the Airport Business Park No. 1.

Although much of the subject property at this time is not technically in the federal regulatory
floodplain, this is in a dangerous area to develop. The reason for this is because a floodplain will
inevitably flood, regardless of the degree of protection; and this is true of almost all of the North
Lawrence area. (Please see the enclosed map, which is for a 100 year flood showing areas that
would be inundated should the levee be breached. This is a screen print of the original map.) This
development can predictably precipitate further development of those areas around it which
would be more severely affected.

Because of the extremely high cost of the supporting infrastructure and needed stormwater
management that the public is expected to provide for this proposal, development here would
create the need for further development to recover the public investment costs, leading to
development that is even more subject to flooding. This development would begin the
hazardous, costly development of the natural North Lawrence floodplain, which up to now has
been carefully protected.

In addition, almost the entire North Lawrence floodplain area is prime farmland. This soil has
been described by our Regional Soil Scientist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service as
the “best in the world.” Agricultural land use has been determined to be one of the most cost-
effective a county can have. Agricultural land requires far less in costs to the county than the
county gains from it in taxes. Farmland also provides many environmental benefits, whereas in
terms of the environment, industrial land use can be very problematic and costly.

Beyond these reasons for asking for denial for this proposal, there are many more.
1. The Kansas River levee has only temporary certification for its safety.

2. If the 26-acre floodplain area becomes permanently ponded, such as for a barrow pit, it
will be a hazard to the airport because of the birds and wildlife it would attract.

3. The issue of who pays for the required improvements is pending. If this involves

Page 1 of 2
public costs, then the issue of cost v.s. benefits becomes crucial. Because of the
environmental effects and losses that this development will create, these
environmental costs must also be factored into any calculations. Under any
circumstances, this information should be known before any development
requiring public investment receives a recommendation for approval or
disapproval. This issue becomes particularly significant because of the high costs
of stormwater management identified in the North Lawrence Drainage Study and
the street and highway improvements that would be needed as a result of this
project. Warehousing, proposed for this development, uses comparatively much
more space (and roofing over) than it returns in employment benefits and property
taxes than do other industrial and business land uses.

4. The Staff analysis should be more accurate.


(a) Horizon 2020 currently is neutral on the issue of developing North Lawrence
in that location (except for the neighborhood business site), although it
mentions repeatedly the importance of preserving floodplains from
development.
(b) The area plans that might support this project have not been made
official—the North of North Street Plan, and the North Lawrence Drainage
Study have not been adopted officially. The Draft Chapter 7 of Horizon
2020 has not been adopted and officially published.
(c) The proposal by the developer to condition the conventional IL zoning to
eliminate certain uses is not a process supported by State law or by our
Land Development Code. In order to accomplish this, a text amendment
to the IL District would be needed and the developer would then have to
apply for rezoning to the new district, or ask for a PD Overlay District in
addition to the IL District. The PD Overlay District would then allow
conditioning the zoning. The Staff Report should explain this process.

These are some of the reasons that we ask you to deny this proposal for the Airport Business
Park.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Paula Schumacher Carrie Lindsey


President Land Use Committee

Attachment

Page 2 of 2
NOTE: This is a screen print of the original map from the North Lawrence Drainage Study
showing the areas of inundation in a 100-year flood if the levee is breached.
Lawrence Douglas County Planning Commission

22 October 2007

I am writing to oppose the Pine/Santularia Development in North Lawrence. Although I


believe property owners have the right to do with their property what they want as long as
that activity doesn’t adversely effect others. This project impacts the city budget and its
population in an adverse way.

My concern is with the “leap frog” development that requires city services to catch up to
development that is beyond existing service. Instead of a logical and reasonable
expansion of services this project expects the city to pay for extending services out to this
development site. I don’t think this is justified.

Consider the extensive and exceptional property closer in that provides all the space and
access to highways and railways that Santularia needs for success. Plus city services
already exist there. The Tangeir Outlet Mall site is just one of those sites that comes to
mind. There are other locations along 59 Highway on the east and west side that might be
more economical for the city and serve this project better.

I commend the efforts to bring better and diverse jobs to our area, I cannot support a plan
that begs the city to take this kind of risk when there are other properties closer in that
need to be better utilized.

Thank you for you attention to this matter.

David Thiel
1644 New Hampshire

LAW OFFICES

BARBER EMERSON, L .C.


1211 MASSACHUSETTS STREET
POST OFFICE BOX 667
JOHN A . EMERSON LAWRENCE, KANSAS 66044 MATTHEW D . RICHARDS *
BYRON E . SPRINGER LINDA K . GUTIERREZ
(785) 843-6600 MATTHEW S . GOUGH *
RICHARD L . ZINN
CALVIN J . KARLIN FACSIMILE (785) 843-8405 CATHERINE C . THEISEN
KRISTOPHER S . AMOS
JANE M . ELDREDGE
MARK A . ANDERSEN * RICHARD A . BARBER
CHERYL L . TRENHOLM * (1911-1998)
TERENCE E . LEIBOLD *
TERRENCE J . CAMPBELL * GLEE S . SMITH, JR.

ADMITTED IN KANSAS AND MISSOURI OF COUNSEL

October 22, 2007


Matthew S . Gough
E-Mail : mgoughPbarberemerson .com

VIAFACSIMILE AND E-MAIL


Mr. Grant Eichhorn, Chair
Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Commission
P.O. Box 708
Lawrence, Kansas 66044

Re: Diversified Concepts, LLC


Items 16A, 16B, 16C, 16D and 16E on the October 24, 2007
Planning Commission Agenda

Dear Chairperson Eichhorn:

We represent Diversified Concepts, LLC ("Diversified") the lead developers of the


Lawrence Airport Business Park (the "Park") . We believe it is necessary to respond to some of
the legal issues raised by the Citizens for Responsible Planning (the "CRP") in their position
paper (the "CRP Position") . Preliminarily, we note that the annexation request described in Item
16A will connect the Lawrence Municipal Airport, which was an island annexation, with the
"mainland" City boundary, in accordance with the City's Administrative Annexation Policy .'

1. CONFORMANCE WITH HORIZON 2020.

The CRP position regarding lack of conformance with the Comprehensive Plan is
erroneous . The CRP alleges the proposed Park fails to conform to three "key features" of
Horizon 2020 in that it:

(1) Does not protect and preserve flood plains;

(2) Does not promote the maintenance of a strong and clear distinction
between the urban and rural characters of Lawrence-Douglas County ; and

' See City of Lawrence Administrative Policy AP-74, section 2 .4.


Eichhorn, Chairman Grant


October 22, 2007
Page 2

(3) Fails to conserve sensitive natural and environmental features .'

These arguments ignore the facts applicable to this development . First, as shown on the
Preliminary Plat for Airport Business Park No . 1, development will not occur within the 100-year
flood plain boundary. Second, there are already numerous structures and facilities in the vicinity
of the Park, including ". . . the Lawrence Municipal Airport to the north and east, a mix of
commercial uses to the west, rural residential and agricultural uses to the east, and Interstate 70
to the south,"3 and consequently the Park will not further confuse the boundary between rural
Douglas County and the City of Lawrence (in fact, the annexation request will effectively
connect the Lawrence Municipal Airport to the rest of the City) . Third, if the unimproved
farmland within the Park is considered "environmentally sensitive", then each undeveloped
parcel in the County (regardless of whether such parcel is in the UGA) would likewise be
environmentally sensitive--a result that would have serious implications for any future
development, regardless of size or type .' The subject property has been consistently planned for
industrialization since 2000 .5

2. URBAN GROWTH AREA.

The CRP's position paper ignores the fact that the Airport Business Park is in Service
Areas 2 and 4 of the Urban Growth Area ("UGA") and that some of the "Key Features" of
Horizon 2020, Chapter 3 with which the Park complies are:

• The Plan promotes development in the UGA through an adopted annexation


policy which anticipates well-planned development of fringe areas.

'CRP Position page 2 and footnote 4 : Horizon 2020 p . 3-1, 3-2.

3PC Staff Report dated October 24, 2007 for Item No . 16B, available at
http://www.lawrenceplanning.org/documents/Airport-Rezone-IL .pdf.

'Furthermore, the CRP Position's references to the proposed revisions to Chapter 7 of


Horizon 2020 are irrelevant legally, because the revisions were duly rejected by the Board of
County Commissioners.

'See Revised Chapter 7 of Horizon 2020 as approved by the Lawrence City Commission;
Draft of North of North Street Area Plan dated November 2000 .

Eichhorn, Chairman Grant


October 22, 2007
Page 3

• The Plan defines the urbanizing areas of the county and directs development to
these areas.

3. INFRASTRUCTURE COSTS.

The CRP argues that the City's undetermined infrastructure costs should form the basis of
a Planning Commission decision to recommend denial of the Park . In support of that argument,
the CRP cites Policy 3 .4 in Chapter 7 of Horizon 2020, which states:

Policy 3.4 : Maintain an Inventory of Industrial Land

Maintain an appropriate supply of industrially zoned land so that site choices are
available and infrastructure expansion can occur in an efficient and orderly
manner. Annually evaluate current and approved planned land uses and land
availability . The evaluation should consider, but not be limited to : approved
planned development not yet constructed, compatibility with existing nearby
development, parcel size and infrastructure service delivery and phasing plans.

(Emphasis added.) By quoting the underlined text only, the CRP ignores the policy "to maintain
an inventory of industrial land." Furthermore, financial issues are discussed and resolved by the
elected governing body.'

The CRP also ignores two of the principal strategies for industrial use which are : (1)
"Increase the community's involvement in economic development in order to secure a job
growth goal of 20,000 new jobs in Douglas County by the year 2020" ; and (2) "Work with

6CRP Position, page 2 and footnote 2 (". . . not only this phase but future phases must be
part of the Commissioners' deliberations—especially as they impact the type, amount, and
especially cost of the infrastructure the city will be committed to provide now and in the
future."). The CRP Position also quotes from the Plan Review Comments, Public Utilities
Department (CRP Position footnote 3) . Such concerns are not germane to a rezoning request.

'"The issue of who pays is not a land-use issue . The Planning Commission's role
traditionally has not been to get involved in the issue of whether the city at-large pays or a
particular development pays ." City's planning staff backs park, Lawrence Journal-World,
October 16, 2007, quoting City Manager David Corliss, available at:
http ://www2.1jworld .com/news/2007/oct/16/citys_planningstaff backs park.

Eichhorn, Chairman Grant


October 22, 2007
Page 4

developers and industrialists to make available sites, improvements and annexations which best
respond to market demands while meeting community objectives for the type and quality of
development" .8

The oft-quoted Grubb & Ellis 1 The Winbury Group stated in its Mid-year 2007 Market
Trends Report9 that the industrial vacancy rate is a "tight" 3 .18 percent . "Limited options for
expansion caused a number of [industrial] businesses to either locate outside of Lawrence, or put
their plans on hold. "10 Contrary to the CRP's argument, large lot industrially zoned land is in
short supply.

With the adoption of the ECO2 Report, the City and County Commissions recognized the
need for at least 1,000 acres of newly designated industrial land for the benefit of the entire
community . The large lots necessary to meet the demand cannot be accommodated with
commercial in-fill development. The extension of sanitary and storm sewers to the Park is
contemplated in the latest draft of the North of North Street Area Plan ."

4. ALTERNATIVE SITES.

The CRP advocates the use of alternative industrial site options in lieu of permitting
industrial development around the Lawrence Municipal Airport . 12 Alternative sites are not
before the Planning Commission at this time . The only site being reviewed is the subject site.
The development of alternative sites, in addition to the Airport Business Park, would be favored
by the goals stated in Horizon 2020 . New employers would then have choices of location
depending upon the employers' particular needs and desires.

5. PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS.

8Horizon 2020, Chapter 7, p . 7-1.

9Available online at http ://www.wnbury .com/PDF/Q32007LawrenceMarket .pdf.


cOld.

'With the planned expansion of the airport, N 7th St may serve as a major corridor for
the conveytance of services, such as sewer, from the city to the airport ." Draft of the North of
North Street Area Plan, p . 25.

12 CRP Position, page 6.


Eichhorn, Chairman Grant


October 22, 2007
Page 5

The nature and costs of any storm water, sanitary sewer, water or street concerns will be
resolved with the applicant's public improvement plans which must be approved prior to a final
plat being recorded . The allocation of costs is not a land use matter, but a matter for the City
Commission to determine . Please see memo from City Manager, Dave Corliss, dated October
16, 2007.

A drainage letter has been approved by the City's Stormwater Engineer . The letter states
that the Airport Business Park No . 1 Preliminary Plat follows the recommendations outlined in
the North Lawrence Drainage Study . 13

6. COMPETITION.

The CRP is pessimistic about the Park's ability to compete with various inter-modal
facilities that are being constructed in northeast Kansas . 14 This is a red herring. The CRP's
disapproval of light industrial development, such as the American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
warehousing and distribution centers in Ottawa, Franklin County, Kansas, is revealing.
American Eagle now employs over 625 individuals--all of which are new jobs since year 2001.
Perhaps the CRP will inquire with the City of Ottawa, Kansas about whether that city's
investment in those facilities have been worthwhile.

We encourage you to follow the Kansas statutes, the City of Lawrence Development
Code, and the advice of your professional staff in your deliberations about the annexation, zoning
and preliminary plat that are before you for the Airport Business Park . We believe that you will
conclude that these are appropriate requests that should be recommended for approval to the City
Commission and that the Lawrence Airport Business Park will provide the entire community
with new opportunities for economic development.

13PC Staff Report dated October 24, 2007 for Item No . 16E, available at
http ://www.lawrenceplanning.org/documents/Airport-Pre-Plat.pdf.

14CRP Position, page 7.


Eichhorn, Chairman Grant
October 22, 2007
Page 6

Sincerely,

Matthew S . Gough
of Barber Emerson, L .C.

MSG:klb